Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
Stephen C. Foster State Park

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See what SUWANNEE RIVER ECO-LODGE FACILITIES are available.
   PUBLIC NOTICE: The Suwannee River Visitor Center is closed as of April 12, 2014 until further notice.

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp -- one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface.  Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky.  Astronomy programs with an 18" telescope are sometimes offered.
 
Park staff offer guided boat tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. starting June 1st. Same-day reservations are recommended. Sunset Tours offered upon request, call the park for details. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island.  Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin.  Boating is dependent upon water levels.  Overnight guests may stay in a shaded campground or fully equipped cabins. Because the state park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a refuge fee is charged.

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator.  Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge.  To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats.  Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels.  Children should not play near the water’s edge.  Feeding any wildlife is prohibited.  Following these guidelines will help visitors have a safe and entertaining experience in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.

At the park's Suwannee River Visitor Center in Fargo, visitors learn not only about the Okefenokee Swamp's ecosystem, but also how buildings can be made from recycled car parts. Located off Hwy. 441 at the Suwannee River bridge, the center mixes environmental education with engineering showmanship. Inside, visitors learn that tannic acid produced by decaying vegetation is what gives the river its tea color, and that unlike other reptiles, mother alligators actively care for their babies. A third of the building materials was made from recycled content, including a retaining wall made from old dashboards and electrical cables.  Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gate lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.


   Stephen C. Foster State Park Business Plan

Directions

GPS Coordinates:
N 30.8269500 | W -082.3621000

Located 18 miles northeast of Fargo at the end of Ga. Hwy. 177. Note that GPS directions are often not accurate; consult a highway map.

Address
17515 Hwy. 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Clinch County
map

 


Phone
912-637-5274

Park Clean-up - Your State Parks Day
Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 9 AM
Get Outdoors GeorgiaPresenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Come show your support of Stephen C. Foster State Park by participating in a park clean-up and beautification project. 912-637-5274.
Billy's Island & Okefenokee Swamp Tour
Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 10 AM
Saturday, Oct 4, 2014 10 AM
Saturday, Oct 11, 2014 10 AM
More Dates...
Get Outdoors GeorgiaPresenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Join us for a tour of historic Billy's Island. This island was home to Native Americans, pioneers, and lumbermen for thousands of years. We will take a boat out to the island and hike the short trail, about 3/4 of a mile, and view some of the relics left from times past.  $15-$20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Fright Fest at Foster
Friday, Oct 31, 2014 7 PM
Saturday, Nov 1, 2014 7 PM
Get Outdoors GeorgiaPresenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
What better place to celebrate Halloween than the swamp? Come trick or treating through the campground and afterwards take a spooky boat tour and hike on Billy's Island if you dare. Don't forget to bring your costume and candy for the trick or treaters. Trick or treating begins at 4 p.m...  $20-$25 for boat tour. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Contacts
John and Karen Stone
229-249-9283 

Kathy Griffis
912-637-5274  Stephen C Foster State Park

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